Wake Tech Marks 50th Anniversary at Annual Culinary Arts Showcase
“Golden Moments” Make Showcase a Success
RALEIGH, N.C. (April 30, 2013) – Wake Tech commemorated its 50th anniversary with the college’s annual Culinary Arts Showcase. The event attracted more than 2,000 people to the Raleigh Convention Center. For Wake Tech students Melanie Gilkey and Thabata Bailer, it was a moment in the spotlight: Their tired cake, inspired by the Willie Wonka character, took first place in the Live Cake Challenge – a popular feature of the event. Four teams faced off to create cakes based on the 50th anniversary theme of “Golden Moments.” In addition to the cake challenge, high school students from Wake, Orange, Chatham, Harnett and Cumberland counties entered cakes for judging and competed in a cupcake decorating contest. Hannah Urick from Apex High School won the cake competition with a pink and white creation topped with delicate flowers. Toni Williams and Ebony Williamston from Bunn High School took home first place in the cupcake challenge.
The Culinary Arts Showcase is the culmination of one of the largest competitions in the United States sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). A day earlier, ACF judges critiqued nearly 100 entries, in categories that included cakes, showpieces, pastries and cold food platters. The entries were submitted by students from Wake Tech, Sandhills Community College, Fayetteville Tech Community College, The Chef’s Academy, and The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, as well as professional chefs from across the southeast. The top three professionals were Kelly Bellmore, pastry chef at NCSU Food Services, Karen Gray, baking instructor at Wake Tech, and Travis Dale, executive chef at Artisan Ice Sculptures. Top students were Anna Collins, from Wake Tech, Chelsea Snyder, also from Wake Tech, and Antonia Caldera from the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham. The winners all received prizes and a “Golden Whisk” award.
In addition to viewing award-winning displays, spectators at the Showcase watched live food demonstrations and ice carving by Wake Tech students and instructors. They also enjoyed food from some of the Triangle’s top restaurants, including 18 Seaboard, Mez, and Cantina 18. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Goodness Grows Campaign served up locally-grown delicacies. Hands-on decorating fun for kids and a silent auction of “foodie” favorites rounded out the event.
The Culinary Arts Showcase started as Wake Tech’s Annual Pastry Show in 1994, as a final project for culinary and baking students in the second year of Wake Tech’s associate’s degree program. US Food Service was the title sponsor for the event. Proceeds benefit the Wake Tech Culinary Arts Fund.